Our local NPR affiliate had an interesting story this morning focusing on the election in this swing state. Listen to this interview of people in Johnstown, Colorado–famous for a local truck stop that makes giant cinnamon rolls. It’s a town that’s full of foreclosures and economic anxiety–and yet, even the one “staunch Democrat” interviewed for this story says that he’s voting for John McCain, along with everyone else in the story. It’s remarkable to hear. Barack Obama held onto a tiny but fairly durable lead here this summer up until the most recent state poll was released yesterday. Now, McCain now has a tiny lead over Obama.
Barack Obama was in Grand Junction and Pueblo yesterday and today in Golden at the Colorado School of Mines, and he’s turning up the heat on the economy talk, which is good to hear, but I don’t know if any of those voters in Johnstown are listening or are persuadable. Denver, Boulder, and the elite ski towns notwithstanding, this is a very conservative state–not so much culturally conservative (although they are that), or movement conservative (although there are still “Sagebrush Rebels” here), as just congenitally conservative: they’ve always been Republicans, they’ve always voted Republican, and they always will.
Colorado has been electing Democrats statewide in the past few years not because Coloradoans are changing, but because newcomers are changing Colorado. I don’t know if the Easterners and Californians have arrived in sufficient numbers to tip the balance in 2008. We shall see.
UPDATE 9/17/08: Some stiff medicine by William Galston as to how to reclaim the advantage on the economy that McCain has taken from Obama.